(L-R): Masaji Matsuyama, Minister of State for Japanese Space Policy; Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy; Credit: MECO

Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, traveled to Japan for a working visit from 2 to 5 March 2018 to strengthen international relations in the space sector.

The participation of Minister Schneider at the second edition of the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) in Tokyo, at the invitation of the President of the Japan Space Agency (JAXA), Dr. Naoki Okumura, was one of the highlights of the working visit. At this high-level international conference, the sixty or so governments represented agreed that the exploration and use of space is beneficial for all of humanity. The discussions highlighted the importance of global cooperation for space exploration and sustainable development of the sector.

The joint declaration of the participating states recognises the importance of investing continuously in space exploration since it contributes to the economic growth and social well-being of all the world's citizens. In addition, common principles around international space exploration have been retained. These conclusions are in line with the strategy of Luxembourg's Ministry of Economy in the space sector and with the objectives of the exploration and use of space resources for the benefit of humanity through the SpaceResources.lu initiative.

In addition, Minister Schneider had a bilateral meeting with Japan's Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Technology, Yoshimasa Hayashien, who is in charge of research in the space sector and space exploration. During this meeting, they discussed bilateral collaboration on the exploration and use of resources in outer space.

Étienne Schneider also spoke with the Japanese Minister of State for Space Policy, Masaji Matsuyama, co-signatory of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the space sector and also on the exploration and use of resources in the field of space signed between Japan and Luxembourg during the state visit in November 2017.​